Akron, OH (June 26, 2021) — Nick Stricklen from Akron and Becki Spellman from Galloway were the respective 8k winners in the men’s and women’s races at the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile, the first race of the 2021 Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health on Sat., June 26, 2021, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Spellman, a University of Akron track and field alumni, previously held the 8k women’s course record of 29:30 from 2017, and today, she set a new course record with a time of 29:24. As a longtime Akron Marathon athlete, in 2011 and 2016, she won the women’s Full Marathon and in 2018, she won the women’s Half Marathon.

The National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile welcomed 1,761 in-person athletes and 106 virtual athletes for a total of 1,867 participants from 10 states, with ages 3 to 79 competing.

The race began by highlighting The University of Akron’s campus with a unique tour of downtown Akron. Although it was designed for speed, the course supported both runners and walkers as they made their way to the finish on the Summa Field inside InfoCision Stadium.

The morning’s first to cross the finish line in the 1 Mile race was Kevin Messick from Wadsworth and Renee Harden from Medina.

National Interstate Insurance, in its sixth year as Presenting Sponsor for this first race in the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, had 37 employees participating in the race.

“Today, we were proud to bring our team together for the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile race,” states Tony Prinzo, AVP, Human Resources of National Interstate Insurance. “We take a great deal of pride in supporting the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health. This year feels extra special as we were able to come together in person and feel a sense of community with volunteers, runners and staff all doing something good for their social and physical well-being.”